Quick take: BBC’s Nik Gowing on new media

The BBC’s Nik Gowing writes an excellent piece in the Guardian on how new media is subverting traditional media’s vice grip on news and information. As Nik notes in Real-time media is changing our world,

Institutional assumptions of commanding the information high ground in a crisis are from a different era. The instant scrutiny created by the new digital media landscape subverts their effectiveness and leaves reputations more vulnerable than ever in a crisis. It usually does so with breathtaking speed.

A good example of this in Sri Lanka was the atrocious use of wikipedia by the Sunday Times recently, and the Editor’s inane responses to my article that flagged it.

Noting that the primary difference between new and traditional media is the ability to add value to news, I note in a recent column that,

A bastion of ageing, and worse, pompous journalists commanding what Nik Gowing calls news regimes from a different era pose a challenge to media freedom equal to the government’s censorship and repression. Conversely, voters unable or unwilling to realise and leverage the potential of mobiles, PCs, the web and Internet to strengthen democracy will get the media and government they deserve.

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